President Erdogan says Turkey shares ‘historical pain of Armenian citizens’

Turkish President Erdogan addresses members of the parliament from his ruling AK Party during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 24, 2018. (Reuters)

On the commemoration of the 1915 events of World War I, President Erdogan says Turkey will continue to find solutions to the problems of the country’s ethnic Armenian citizens.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said it is Turkey’s “conscientious responsibility to share the historical pain of Armenian citizens” in a statement sent to the Armenian Church in Istanbul.

His statement was sent to commemorate the loss of Armenian lives during the World War I.

“I would like to ask you, just like before, to not allow those who want to thrive through animosity by twisting common history,” the statement said.

The president offered condolences to the families of Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during the 1915 events. He also offered condolences to the Turkish nation over the loss of lives of millions of Ottoman citizens due to wars, migrations, conflicts and diseases during the same period.

Erdogan said Turkey in the future will continue to “share the pain and try to find solutions” to the problems of the country’s ethnic Armenian citizens.

“I believe our Armenian citizens will continue their humane, political and economic contribution to our culture,” he said.

Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide” but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.

Source: AA